Scientists have established that the bracted bugleweed (Ajuga remota) is able to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, supporting its traditional use as a treatment for diabetes. The study, published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, analyzed the phytochemical composition of the herb and examined its anti-diabetes ability in vivo.
The bracted bugleweed is a plant common in East Africa, but it also grows widely in the Middle East as well as East Asia. In Ethiopian traditional medicine, the plant is used to treat conditions ranging from toothaches and stomach pain to high blood pressure and even diabetes. The leaves are known to be especially bitter; thus, honey is added to make it easier to consume and to store it for later use. Multiple studies have been done on other species of the genus Ajuga, with researchers noting its anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, antiviral, and anti-malarial properties, to name a few. For some studies, in particular, scientists have linked certain health benefits to the presence of bioactive components in the plant. An initial study of the bracted bugleweed revealed that it has similar phytochemicals with other species in the genus, but there is little evidence of its anti-diabetes potential available.
“The aim of this study was to find out the scientific basis of the use [of] A. remota in the management of diabetes used by traditional practitioners,” the researchers wrote in their report.
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For the study, researchers obtained extracts from powdered dry leaves of the bracted bugleweed. The team used two extracts: One with 70 percent ethanol; and an…